I asked several locals where they go for fun and frolic. They all included Merlins on their short list. We went there one night and discovered it closed until a few days after we were leaving. Peaked in the windows. Looked like a good sized spot and with high ceilings and windows. Already had a list posted of musical acts coming.
Garf's is one of the more popular night spots in Whistler. Live Music or a DJ spinning out favourites (hip hop and dance on fridays, top 40/80's on saturday) It's Whistler's "biggest nightclub" but still small by big city terms. It is sometimes closed on Sunday (well once for sure...I know). Cover is somewhat expensive $7-10 and the drinks are moderately priced ($4.50 for a beer). The highlight for me was definately seeing my favourite band (sense the sarcasm) Big Muff play last time I visited. On a sunday we were told we had to pay $8 cover because of a band playing...when we saw they were called "Big Muff" we couldn't refuse, plus they gave each of us a free CD with all their fan favourites including "Dancewhore" and "Shut up and Dance"...needless to say it hasn't left my CD player.
Dress Code: Take off your boots and snowboard pants...hell they'd probaby let you in if you leave them on.
If that tip title doesn't grab you what will? Tommy's is a little smaller than Garf's and definately more geared towards dancing. They have a makeshift stage (painted wooden boxes) and two cages that, on busy nights, will have two synchronized, scantilly clad go-go dancers within. When not in use by the go-gos they are free for you to make a fool of yourself. Tommy's has a "two-level" dance floor, with one level varying from the other by maybe a couple of feet. Guest DJs spin often (DJ czech on sundays...apprently he's big) and the music is mostly house but with funk, soul, hip hop, and 80's thrown in on fridays and saturdays. Definately a fun place if your legs aren't tired enough to dance after a day on the slopes!
Dress Code: No dress code here either.
The actually advertise themselves as a steakhouse and oyster bar but I never ate there so it gets put in the nightlife section. However they do advertise themselves as "High energu seafood experience"...whatever that means. The main feature is a live band "Whole Damn Country" that plays on Sundays, which is there big night (cheap wings and beer). There's also live music on wednesday's. There's a dance floor so you can get your jig on in front of the band. They play an assortment of unheard of (at least by my ears) cover tunes mixed in with their own stuff, which isn't very good to be honest. This place is best if nowhere else is open and you wanna grab a few wobbly pops and listen to some tunes...but I think they close pretty early (11ish).
Dress Code: Nada.
I realize it was the off season, but on our brief pub crawl (only 3), it was here we found the most people and all seemed to be having a grand time.
Dance floor was packed and the manager was telling us the line to get in during ski season is over a 100 every night.
Dress Code: None that I saw.
This was the first stop on our mini-pub crawl. Was about 11 PM on a week night in October. Very quiet when we got there, with about 7 other people there. A great chance to have some decent conversation with some real Canadians. Sorry, didn't run into any Irish.
Guiness on tap wasn't bad for this far west.
Bartender said the place really gets packed during ski season.
Dress Code: None
First things first! What I consider to be nightlife after every other activity is different from nightlife after a full day of snowboarding/skiing. I want... no, I'm lying, I NEED to sit down for the better part of the night. I want a place where the food is good and the beer and drinks flow easily. Dubh Linn's fit the bill every time. Also, I want a place with a lively feel to it, because otherwise I'd fall asleep. Dubh Linn's fit the bill every time. They had live Celtic music playing 2 out of the 3 nights we were there. This place just "felt" good to be in; real upbeat and energetic, but relaxed at the same time. And yes, you should get an Irish Car Bomb. A great apres drink in my opinon!
Dress Code: Just get those boots off and put on the shoes of your choice and come right on in. Like I said everyone smells as bad asa you do, so don't sweat it. (no pun intended)
It's a great place to unwind if you still have any energy left after a day of skiing. I was only able to make my way there the first night and the people were very animated! It is known for its live bands. They have a fool's ball table and comfortable booths to sit on along the walls.
Do remember that smoking is not allowed, so you may want to keep a warm sweater with you if you are planing to head out for a fag during the course of the evening. However, they do have propane heaters set up just about everywhere and the temperatures are pretty mild.
Dress Code: Thermal underwear if you really want to make an entrance, really, wear what you feel comfortable in.
This place was my favorite during my stay in Whistler.
I did not usually feel like going out for large ones especially when I was looking forward to the early runs on the slopes.
There are two floors where the top one has the most attractions; a pool table and two very comfortable leather couches. You have to be smart and quick about it, they are the first places to go!
Try their warm spicy wine concoction (Cinnamon Cider), it is so tasty! They also have a terrasse outside under the famous propane heaters making it a delight to watch the snowfall. Whistler village is just gorgeous, its completely lit up, so take every chance you have to sit back and watch it alive.
Since we were there early season, it wasn't quite as "JUMP OFF" as I'm sure it gets. So, I can't be too scathing in my remarks.
We went to several places and just enjoyed being out. Anywhere you go, you're bound to have a good scene and have it be fairly lively.
I will make certain comments about some places though. The Dubb Linn Gate Irish Pub serves dinner, but it's a good place to spend your nite. So that means, if you're not going to eat there, you need to get there earlier than you normally would to get a place to sit down. Second, if you go to the Savage Beagle (cool place), and you see a guy who appears to be playing 52 card pickup with his credit cards...just make sure he leaves with his cards. The Longhorn is the place to be for apres-ski. Sit outside and people watch; it's a good time. Tommy Africa's is a much heralded club of Whistler, but I have to say that I was not the least bit impressed. Maybe combined with the early season and it being an off night or something, but it was like the place every teenager was going. We didn't bother going in. One other thing, if you're walking home from the bar post 2am, watch out for the Kung Fu masters around the little creek bridge.
Dress Code: Dress up, dress down...you're there to ski and everyone realizes it.
The Cinnamon Bear Bar in the Hilton attracts a young crowd and a collection of snowboards was a regular feature outside the bar. Pitchers of beer were on most tables. There two pool tables and a number of TV's with sports (usually hockey) on most of the time. The only downside is that the waitress had no clue what a B&B was (maybe I am too old for these places). They ultimately found some, but it appeared I got the remnant in the bottle and it was not poured in a snifter, just a whisky glass...ooops.
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Dress Code: Wear anything that you want. Some people dress up a bit for the fancier annual events.
Right at the base of Whistler is a great Irish pub. I went a few times while in Whistler and always found it very comfortable as well as fun. They had a couple of different live acts on while I was there, one of which was very good. The food was excellent as well. I went in on a couple of occasions by myself and found it really easy to chat to other people, although it's like that in most of Whistler. You rarely spend five minutes on your own as everyone is so friendly.
Dress Code: casual, lots of people go there straight off the slopes
This is probably the funnest live band that I have seen in a very long time! They kept on playing for hours and hours, only stopping for the occasional beer break, and had everybody up on their feet..
They played at Garfinkel's, one of Whistler's happy hour and apres-ski spots as well as other venues such as the Merlins in Blackcomb.
The Amsterdam Pub always seemed to be filled with a young crowd enjoying the evening festivities, both on the inside and outside.